Friday 23 November 2012

Foodie Friday - Crispy Fried Tofu - A Vegetarian Recipe

Hi Guys - I'm sorry I didn't manage to get a Foodie Friday post up last week but I promise I'm going to make it up to you with a easy vegetarian recipe today and next week I'm going to post Mummy Lou's gluten free interpretation of one of Delia Smith's classic Christmas cakes - yummy!

As you probably know I'm a vegetarian, I've been a vegetarian for nearly 16 years now and I have to be honest and say I've never looked back. Things have improved a lot for veggies in that time you can now get vegetarian food everywhere, one of my biggest bug bears though is when a restaurants vegetarian choice includes FISH. I guess they aren't blame entirely an awful lot of people claim to be vegetarians when in fact they eat fish - if you eat fish then you aren't vegetarian you are a Pescetarian!!! I have to admit though fish and seafood are the one things that I do miss, but to be honest you can get fishless fishcakes, fishless fingers and even fish free prawns now so I can stick to my self imposed diet fairly easily. A few years ago though I was looking for gluten free, vegetarian recipes and I found something that was described as a perfect fish replacement. Whilst the taste isn't the same by a long way, I can see where the recipe was coming from, maybe down to the inclusion of the vinegar which automatically makes you think of fish and chips!

Tofu or soy bean curd as it's often called  looks like a cross between feta cheese and a soggy sponge. It's good for you but the plain and simple fact is it's completely tasteless, hence you can use it in it's various forms in both sweet and savoury dishes. The first time I had tofu I have to admit I wasn't impressed in the slightest, but over the years I've learnt to cook it differently so it actually has some taste. They key is it needs to be cooked with something quite strongly flavoured, one of my favourite ways of using tofu is in the Indonesian Rice With Tofu recipe that I showed you here,  but when I don't make that I make this dish Crispy Fried Tofu. Apologies that I can't credit the source but I've had the recipe for so long now that I can't remember where I got it from, especially now that I cook it from memory. 

                            Cripsy Fried Tofu                                       
1/2 Packet Firm Tofu
Balsamic Vinegar
Plain Flour (Gluten Free In My Case)
Chilli Flakes
Vegetable or Corn Oil

1. Drain the tofu as best you can you don't want it to be too wet 

2. Slice the tofu length ways into about 4 slices, don't worry if it starts to crumble it is quite fragile

3. Pop the tofu into a bowl then cover with a small amount of balsamic vinegar.

4. Leave for 15 minutes then turn over and leave for another 15 minutes - the tofu will absorb the vinegar and change colour

5. In the meantime add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and heat gently - if you can use a non stick pan. Then into another bowl pour in some flour, add a shaking of chilli flakes then mix together 

6. Remove your tofu from the balsamic vinegar, and coat it in the flour and chilli mix

7. Pop the tofu slices into your hot pan and fry turning occasionally till they are golden brown and crisp on the outside.

8. Drain on kitchen paper and then serve

Hints and Tips

* You can serve these with anything you fancy chips and baked beans works well as does rice or pasta and a sweet n sour sauce. I'm having rice with a Chinese style chilli, stir fry sauce here x

* I haven't been that precise with measurements are you can judge it by eye how much balsamic and flour you need - this recipe here feed two but obviously you could use the whole pack of tofu to feed more 

*The original recipe did include chilli flakes, but how many you use is up to you. I sometimes add a bit of garlic powder to my flour mix, it's up to you really or  you could leave the chilli out completely if you wanted to and just add salt n pepper to the flour mix

*The flour mix is also flexible, you can use what ever flour you like, I've tried this with polenta / corn meal and rice flour and it tuned out fine.

*If you don't have balsamic then ordinary malt vinegar would probably work but I think the sweetness of the balsamic makes a difference - I sometimes add a little bit of soy sauce too x

I really enjoy this recipe - it's really versatile and works well with any accompaniment, you can see how crispy the flour and vinegar combination makes the tofu, it's almost like it forms it's own batter. Mummy Lou will happily eat this and enjoy which is pretty impressive because she's isn't a vegetarian.

 I've heard loads of people say they don't like tofu but I really think it's about how you cook it and how you flavour it. If you want to extend your tofu journey I would definitely recommend Leah Leneman's The Tofu Cookbook, it features everything from dips to main courses to desserts all made from tofu. What do you think of tofu? Have I inspired you to give it a go? let me know in the comments xx

1 comment:

  1. this looks good and im not veggie! will have to give this a try x


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